Directed by Michael J. Bassett
“Solomon Kane” is a very interesting film. By every right, it probably should have been a failure. An action adventure horror film, created on a relatively small budget with no truly famous actors and a very (very) limited release. The film had more of an uphill battle against its success than its titular character, and considering the challenges that he has to go through in the film, that’s saying something. Yet, despite all of that, “Solomon Kane” is probably the most entertaining and enjoyable action film that has been released so far this year.
The art design on this film is simply spectacular. It reminds me of works like “Sleepy Hollow”, “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” or basically any Guillermo Del Toro film, and considering the budget on those films, it’s simply awe-inspiring that a smaller film was able to pull it off so well. The acting (which is extremely solid) combined with the design of the film creates an incredibly exciting and refreshing experience compared to most other adventure and horror films that have been released over the past couple years. It’s rather unlikely that “Solomon Kane” will ever becomes a huge hit, but it certainly is a (well deserved) cult classic in the making.
The story is rather simple, it involves one man’s journey on the path to redemption. Only, on Solomon’s journey, he has to fight witches, possessed soldiers, faceless demons, a powerful magician, and a fire demigod. And all of these villains are beautifully realized in their disgusting glory. (The make-up and most of the SFX are really well done.) Even the relationship between Solomon and the family that takes him in is surprisingly well-developed for an action film. It might not be Shakespeare, but you feel for Solomon as he faces his demons and strives to create a new life for himself.
In this end, this is certainly a film you should search out, if only because, in what other movie are you going to watch the hero be crucified, only to witness him pull himself off of his own cross? (And no, sorry, “Passion of the Christ” doesn’t count.) Honestly, the last time I was this impressed with a indie genre film was probably “Equilibrium” (which is equally awesome, if not better, so you should definitely check that out too if you’ve never seen it) and that was close to ten years ago.